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combe, president, Howard University College of Medicine, letter dated
Letter dated July 25, 1967, to committee, enclosing resolutions.
TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 1967
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 3 OF THE
Washington, D.C. The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 o'clock a.m., in Room 1310, Longworth House Office Building, Honorable John Dowdy, presiding
Present: Representatives Dowdy (Chairman), Hagan, Steiger and Adams.
Also present: James T. Clark, Clerk; Hayden S. Garber, Counsel; Sara Watson, Assistant Counsel; Donald Tubridy, Minority Clerk; Leonard O. Hilder, Investigator.
Mr. Dowdy. The hearing will come to order. We start hearings this morning on H.R. 6143 by Mr. Hagan, a Member of this Committee, to provide a comprehensive program for the control of drunkenness and the prevention and treatment of alcoholism in the District of Columbia.
Alcoholism is a real problem in the District of Columbia, according to our information. We are advised that there were 44,218 intoxication arrests in the District in 1966. Since the Easter decision (Easter v. District of Columbia, 361 F. 2d. 50), decided March 31, 1966, 4,080 persons have been adjudicated alcoholics by the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions.
Mr. Hagan hopes his bill will at least alleviate some of the problem.
H.R. 6143 and staff memorandum thereon will be included in the record at this point.
This matter is also dealt with in Title VIII of the so-called Administration's Crime Reduction bill for the District of Columbia, H.R. 7327, and that Title will be included, too.
(The documents referred to follow :)
(H.R. 6143, by Mr. Hagan, 90th Cong., 1st sess.] A BILL To provide a comprehensive program for the control of drunkenness and the
prevention and treatment of alcoholism in the District of Columbia Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
TITLE I-FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSES
Sec. 101. The Congress hereby finds that
(a) Dealing with destitute public inebriates as criminals has proved expensive, burdensome, and futile. The attendant expenditure of law enforcement resources is clearly excessive. The criminal law is ineffective to deter intoxication and to deal with what is basically a major public health problem
chronic alcoholism. Criminal punishment of alcoholics has helped to perpetuate the chronic drunkenness offender problem.
(b) Removal of public intoxication froin the criminal system and establishment of a modern public health program for chronic inebriates facilitate early detection and prevention of alcoholism and effective treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics. Handling of chronic inebriates through public health procedures relieves police, courts, correctional institutions, and other law enforcement agencies of an onerous and inappropriate burden that undermines their ability to protect citizens, apprehend law violators, and maintain safe and orderly streets.
SEC. 2. The Congress declares that
(a) To control public intoxication and chronic alcoholism requires a major commitment of effort and resources by both public and private segments of the community. An effective response to these problems must include a continuum of detoxification, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, and supportive health, welfare, and rehabilitation services. The District of Columbia shall establish and maintain a comprehensive model alcoholism program to which other communities may turn for study, guidance, and advice.
(b) Conduct that threatens physical harm to any member of the public or to property cannot be tolerated. The police shall continue to be empowered to handle as criminal any conduct by inebriates that endangers the safety of other citizens or of property.
TITLE II-DISORDERLY INTOXICATION Sec. 201. Section 25–128 of the District of Columbia Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
"g 25–128. Drinking of alcoholic beverage in vehicle or unlicensed public place
forbidden-Disorderly intoxication in public forbidden-Creating public disturbance by drinking of alcoholic beverage in public
forbidden-Penalty. “(a) No person shall in the District of Columbia drink any alcoholic bev. erage in any vehicle in or upon any street, alley, park, or parking; or in or upon any premises where food, non-alcoholic beverages, or entertainment are sold or provided for compensation not licensed under this chapter; or in any place to which the public is invited for which a license has not been issued hereunder permitting the sale and consumption of such alcoholic beverage upon such premises except premises licensed under section 25–111(1); or in any place to which the public is invited (for which a license under this chapter has been issued) at a time when the sale of such alcoholic beverages on the premises is prohibited by this chapter or by the regulations promulgated thereunder; or in any place for which a license under section 25-111(1) has been issued at a time when the consumption of such alcoholic beverages on the premises is prohibited by regulations promulgated under this chapter.
“(b) No person shall in the District of Columbia be intoxicated and endanger the safety of another person or property.
"(c) No person shall drink in the District of Columbia any alcoholic beverage in any street, alley, park, or parking, and cause a public disturbance: Provided, that any such person shall first be requested by the police to discontinue his drinking and public disturbance, and that no such person shall be charged with a violation of this subsection if he promptly discontinues such drinking and public disturbance.
"(d) Any person violating the prohibitions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or both. No criminal charges shall be made against any person who appears to be intoxicated under sections 22–1107, 22-1121, or 22–3302 through 22-3305 or related misdemeanor provisions."
SEC. 202. Section 4-143 of the District of Columbia Code is hereby amended to add the following: "Provided, that any member of the police may, in lieu of making an arrest for violation of section 25–128, take or send an intoxicated person to his home or to a public or private health facility."
TITLTE III-PREVENTION OF ALCOHOLISM AND REHABILITATION OF
SEC. 301. Chapter 5 of title 24 of the District of Columbia Code is hereby repealed.
SEC. 302. A new chapter 14 is nereby added to title 6 of the District of Columbia Code, to read as follows:
"Chapter 14-PREVENTION OF ALCOHOLISM AND
REHABILITATION OF ALCOHOLICS "g 6-1401. Purpose
"The purpose of this chapter is to establish a comprehensive program for the prevention of alcoholism and the rehabilitation of alcoholics, discourage abuse of alocoholic beverages, and provide for the medical, psychiatric, and other scientific treatment of chronic alcoholics; to minimize the deleterious effects of exces. sive drinking; to reduce the financial burden imposed upon the people of the District of Columbia by the abusive use of alcoholic beverages, as is reflected in accidents, personal inefficiency, and absenteeism; and to establish methods of handling intoxication and alcoholism that will benefit the individual involved and more fully protect the public. In order to accomplish this purpose and alleviate intoxication and chonic alcoholism, all public officials in the District of Columbia are hereby authorized and directed to take cognizance of the fact that public intoxication shall be handled as a public health problem rather than as a criminal offense, and that a chronic alcoholic is a sick person who needs, is entitled to, and shall be provided appropriate medical, psychiatric, institutional, advisory, and rehabilitative treatment services of the highest caliber for his illness. "86-1402. 'Chronic Aloholic defined
“The term 'chronic alcoholic' means any person who chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages (a) to the extent that it injures his health or interferes with his social or economic functioning, or (b) to the extent that he has lost the power of self-control with respect to the use of such beverages. "g 6-1403. Bureau of Alcoholism Control
"The Commissioners of the District of Columbia are hereby authorized and directed to establish a Bureau of Alcoholism Control within the Department of Public Health, under a qualified program administrator who shall report directly and solely to the director of public health, and to establish and maintain an effective public health program providing a continuum of appropriate services to inebriates and chronic alcoholics. The Bureau shall be responsible for coordinating all District of Columbia Services for inebriates and chronic alcoholics. The programs and facilities of the Bureau shall be staffed with an adequate number of personnel, who shall possess the highest professional qualifications and competence. The Bureau's treatment program shall include at least the following components available to both males and females :
“(a) One or more detoxification centers, all of which shall be located within the District of Columbia so as to be quickly and easily accessible to patients, with a total capacity of at least 200 beds, to provide appropriate medical services for intoxicated inebriates, including initial examination, diagnosis, and classification.
"(b) An inpatient extended care facility for intensive study, treatment, and rehabilitation of chronic alcoholics, with a capacity of at least 500 beds, Procided that the inpatient facility shall not admit intoxicated persons and shall not be part of or at the same location as a correctional institution.
"(c) Outpatient aftercare facilities, all of which shall be located within the District of Columbia, including but not limited to clinics, social centers, vocational rehabilitation services, and supportive residential facilites such as hostels and halfway houses with a total capacity of at least 2,000 beds." "g 6-1401. Detoxification
“(a) Any person who is intoxicated in public may be taken or sent to his home or to a public or private health facility by the police or authorized personnel of the Bureau of Alcoholism Control, Provided, that the police may take reasonable measures to ascertain that public transportation used for such purposes is paid for by such person in advance.
“(b) Any person who is intoxicated, and either incapacitated or whose health is in danger, shall, if not handled under subsection (a), be taken by the police or authorized personnel of the Bureau of Alcoholism Control to a District of Columbia detoxification center. Any intoxicated person may voluntarily come to a center for medical attention, but incapacitated persons and others in medical danger shall be given priority. The medical officer in charge of the center shall have the authority to determine whether a person shall be admitted to the center as a patient, or whether he should be referred to another health facility. If he is admitted as a patient the medical officer in charge of the center shall have the authority to require him to remain at the center until he is sober and no longer incapacitated, but in any event no longer than 72 hours after his admission as a patient. A patient may consent to remain at a detoxification center for a long as the medical officer believes warranted. If the medical officer concludes that the person should receive treatment at a different facility, he shall arrange for such treatment and for transportation to that facility. If the person is not admitted to a detoxification center or to another facility and has no funds, authorized personnel of the Bureau of Alcoholism Control shall offer to take him to his residence if he has one, or, if he has no residence, shall offer to attempt to find and to take him to some other facility where he may obtain shelter. A center may provide medical help to a person who is not admitted as a patient.
"(c) Any person charged with a violation of sections 25–128 (b) or (c) of the D.C. Code shall be brought to a detoxification center where he shall either be admitted as a patient or transported by the Bureau to another appropriate medical facility for treatment. The police officer shall leave a summons for him with the medical officer in charge of the center. After he is sober, the medical officer in charge of the center shall detain him as long as is necessary to conduct a diagnosis for possible alcoholism, except that this period shall not exceed an additional 24 hours. If he is diagnosed as a chronic alcoholic the medical officer shall, after a review of the patient's record, recommend to the Corporation Counsel whether a criminal charge should be filed in order to institute civil commitment proceedings under sec. 6–1407. A decision not to follow the recommendation of the medical officer may be made only by the Corporation Counsel and may not be delegated. If Corporation Counsel concludes that a eriminal charge should be filed, the medical officer in charge of the center shall deliver to the patient the summons that had been left with him. If the patient is not diagnosed as a chronic alcoholic the medical officer in charge of the center shall deliver to him the summons that had been left with him and he shall, after he is released by the center, be handled as in any other criminal case.
“(d) Any person charged with violation of any criminal provision other than section 25–128 of the D.C. Code and who appears to be intoxicated shall first be brought by the police to a detoxification center where he shall be admitted as a patient for an immediate medical evaluation of his condition. As soon as it is determined that he is not in medical danger he shall be handled by the police as in any other criminal case. If his health is in danger, he shall be detained either at the center or at some other appropriate medical facility until the danger has passed, and he shall then be handled as in any other criminal case. Such security conditions shall be maintained as are commensurate with the seriousness of the offense. In appropriate cases where there is no danger to the safety of any person, the police may leave with the medical officer in charge of the center a summons which shall be delivered to him when he is released from the center.
“(e) The police shall make every reasonable effort to protect the health and safety of intoxicated persons, in accordance with the intent of this section, and shall be available to assist a detoxification center whenever such help shall be required. In situations where, at the recommendation of the medical officer in charge of a detoxification center, no charge is filed under section 25–128, no entry shall be made on the person's arrest or other criminal record. The registration and other records of a detoxification center shall remain confiden tial, and may be disclosed at the request of the patient only to medical personnel for purposes of diagnosis, treatment, and court testimony, and to no one else.
"(f) The Bureua of Alcoholism Control shall promptly develop, in cooperation with the police, procedures for taking or sending an inebriate against whom no criminal charge is brought to a detoxification center or to his residence or to a public or private health facility by authorized Bureau personnel. It is the intent of Congress that the functions of the police under this section shall be reduced to a minimum in the shortest time possible.